It’s the story of four generations of the Macx family (I think; things get a little tangled, what with the clones and the eigenfamilies and the ghosts and whatnot) and their varied adventures, on Earth, in the outer system, and flitting ‘twixt the stars, on either side of the Technological Singularity. I enjoyed it. It was a fast-paced story, full of breathless momentum and nudge-nudge wink-wink references for the übergeeks that are most certainly the book’s target audience. (I think I fall at the middle of this particular geek spectrum, somewhere in the range of visible light in the electromagnetic analog. I get most of the jokes, and I contributed to the wiki for the book. (A low-end geek would know about the wiki; a high-end geek would have created the wiki.))
What’s it about? Well, it’s about 150,000 words. Beyond that, words fail, but I’ll try. It’s about Manfred Macx, his IRS auditor-cum-fiancée-cum-dominatrix-cum-wife-ex Pamela, the music mafiya, the continuously upgraded robot cat Aineko, a time-sharing semi-parasitic borganism, slavery in Jupiter orbit, the Vile Offspring, lobsters hacking the Universe, the next generation of economics (and the one after that), and a raft of other ideas. It’s a complex tapestry* of ideas, in fact, a dizzy slide of ideas and concepts that threatens to overwhelm any thread of story, but never quite does.
I enjoyed it. I plan to hunt down Stross’s previous novel, Singularity Sky, and see what it’s like. Someday, too, I’ll re-read Accelerando, possibly on my PDA, more likely in treeware form, so that I can see all the little things I missed on my first time through.
Currently reading: The Last Light of the Sun, by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s set about 1,000 years ago, in a Northern Europe only thinly disguised by slightly different names for peoples and places (Erlings for Vikings/Norsemen, Anglcyn for the English, Cyngael for the Welsh, for instance). So far it’s interesting; I’m about a third of the way in, and it’s holding my interest well. There are precious few “fantasy” moments so far, just an encounter with a fairy and a premonition of psychic powers in one character. Otherwise it’s a pretty straight-ahead view of what life must’ve been like in 1000AD in the north of Europe. Gabrielle, if you’re reading this, you might like this one.
I’m itching to re-read The Dark Tower, especially the last few pages, where… well… where fifteen years of reading culminated for me in a scene that brought me near to tears. Even just thinking about it, I’m gettin’ misty. (Well, not really. But it’s still a big emotional moment.)
Anyways. That’s enough for now. More siding updates in the days ahead, I predict.
* “The word ‘tapestry’ as used here means ‘An ugly piece of cloth too thin to be used as a blanket and too large to be used as a handkerchief’.” —Lemony Snicket